While touting Oracle’s vast superiority over Amazon in databases and unconvincingly claiming Oracle had overtake Google Cloud in infrastructure, Larry Ellison last week also declared his company’s diving into the cloud B2B financial-services business.
Cramming all of those revelations into his chunk of airtime during Oracle’s FY22 Q1 earnings call, Ellison paved the way for his disclosure of his financial-services intentions by announcing a couple of huge Fusion ERP cloud wins among major banks.
Then, with the subject of big banks and modern cloud technology on the table, Ellison described his next conquest. Now, whether or not you choose to believe he means what he said or has the ability to pull it off, history shows that Ellison has fully delivered on his promises far, far more frequently than he has not, particularly with the ones that self-appointed experts had said would never come to pass.
What I find fascinating about Ellison stating that Oracle’s about to dive into the financial-services business is that his vision underscores a larger and quite extraordinary trend among the Cloud Wars Top 10: the tectonic shift from supplier of software for industries, to fully engaged participant/competitor within industries.
Think I’m crazy? Well, I might be, but not for this particular reason. Take a look at these headlines from the past few months:
Yes, Microsoft supplies various cloud services to vendors in the communications business, but with this takeover of AT&T’s 5G Cloud, Microsoft has also moved very directly into the communications business.
And SAP is moving more deeply into the financial-services industry as a supplier by taking the role of a fintech disruptor as well as that of an enterprise-software vendor.
I am 100% convinced that we’ll see lots more of this from all the Cloud Wars Top 10 players—and remember, they have a combined market cap of $7 trillion, which allows them to do things most companies cannot do—as we roar through 2021 and into what will surely be an unforgettable 2022.
But I’m getting ahead of myself; let’s step back and examine exactly what Ellison said about Oracle and its intentions to become a financial-services player.
First, Ellison talked about some huge wins among big global banks for Oracle’s Fusion ERP applications, stating that “a major portion of Bank of America” has begun “consolidating ledgers in 33 separate countries into one global cloud ledger” with the Oracle product. In addition, Ellison said, Australia’s largest investment bank, Macquarie, along with a big mutual-fund company have begun using Fusion ERP.
As a result, he said, those customers join a growing list of what he called “the world’s largest financial-services companies: HSBC, Bank of New York Mellon, JPMorgan Chase” that are all using Oracle Fusion.
And those inroads have given Ellison and Oracle the unprecedented opportunity to begin envisioning and co-creating in full partnership with those financial-services giants a new set of cloud-based offerings.
“We have started working with our strategic partners to develop a new generation of cloud B2B financing and payment systems because there are things you can do in the cloud you could never do on-premise,” Ellison said during the Sept. 13 earnings call.
“If you’re the largest cloud ERP supplier, there are big opportunities in the cloud: along with your banking partners, you can go into new businesses, like financing and payments, which would have been impossible with the old on-premise systems,” Ellison said.
“And those are opportunities we are aggressively pursuing with the world’s money-center banks.”
I could very well be mistaken, but I would guess that Larry Ellison has rarely if ever referred to Oracle’s customers as “partners.” But he certainly made that an express point in outlining Oracle’s next conquest. And that’s not just some throwaway “word game”—it was a very clear signal from the highly influential Ellison that for the major cloud providers, the future will be marked and perhaps even defined by increasingly close collaboration and co-creation among cloud what had been cloud vendors and cloud consumers.
Because they’re both transcending those traditional positions and become, simply, the creators of tomorrow.
Disclosure: at the time of this writing, Oracle, Google Cloud and SAP were among the many clients of Cloud Wars Media and/or Evans Strategic Communications LLC.
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